Premises Liability Claims for Hotel Injuries in California
Hotel injury claims in California are common as thousands of people on vacation and local residents conduct business at these facilities.
Many of the large hotels across California from San Francisco to Los Angeles are normally properly managed, but negligence does occur that causes serious or even catastrophic injuries to their tenants.
California is a very popular travel destination for a host of good reasons, including spectacular weather, natural scenery, cultural life, business opportunities, and special events.
California's nearly six thousand hotels and motels constitute a $29 billion per year industry employing nearly a quarter-million workers. California was breaking tourism records right up until the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel, though, has its hazards. Staying in a hotel is not the same as living at home.
Hotels bring together large numbers of strangers, creating distinct security risks, including sexual assault, kidnap, and robbery.
Hotels are also high-traffic, complex, and dangerous facilities. The wear and tear create additional safety hazards so that nearly two percent of all private-sector accidental injuries occur on hotel premises.
If you or a family member or friend have suffered a hotel injury, then the chances are good that the hotel owns legal liability and is financially responsible for loss and damage.
For prompt, effective help with hotel injury claims, contact our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers for a claim review. Help may well be available for hotel injuries.
Types of Incidents That Occur at Hotels in California
Our personal injury lawyers have seen numerous types of incidents causing serious injuries, or even wrongful death, on hotel and motel properties in the state of California, including:
Slip and fall accidents often occur due to wet and slippery floors in the hotel lobby, common areas, and the bathrooms.
Trip and fall in parking lot injuries happen due to uneven payment or improper lighting at night.
Swimming pool accidents happen when a pool is not properly supervised or maintained often causing serious injuries.
Elevator or escalator injuries happen when they are not adequately maintained causing serious bodily harm or head injuries.
Gym injuries happen when the equipment is in poor condition due to negligence of daily routine maintenance.
Car accidents in the parking hotel parking structure happen due to poor design or negligent driving of the valets.
Violence and assaults occur on hotel property sometimes occur due to negligence in providing proper lighting or inadequate security.
Statutory Duties of Property Owners
California Civil Code Section 1714(a) imposes on property owners, including owners and managers of hotels and motels, the obligation to exercise ordinary care and skill to prevent the injury of another:
- "Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of their willful acts, but also for an injury to another by their want of ordinary care or skill in the management of their property or person, except so far as the willful or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon themselves."
This means the hotel or motel has legal duties to guests that can include the following:
- ordinary maintenance,
- repair and replacement of things like lobby and room furnishings,
- bathroom and shower appliances and equipment,
- interior and exterior stairs and walkways,
- weak or broken chairs,
- frayed rugs,
- loose carpeting,
- worn stairs,
- cracked or shattered mirrors and windows, and
- walkways made slippery from water or ice.
All of these items listed above can constitute breaches of the hotel's duty of ordinary care.
Hotel's Duty of Ordinary Care
The duties of the hotel, though, can even be extended to ordinary care and:
- skill in securing rooms,
- handling room keys and security cards,
- locking rear and side entrances, and
- monitoring the premises for criminal activity.
Non-working room and exterior-door locks, security cards given out to the wrong person or for the wrong room, registrant information given out to the wrong person, and failing to monitor security cameras for suspicious activity involving guns, drugs, and prostitution, or suggesting robbery, theft, or assault, can all constitute breaches of the hotel's duty of ordinary care.
Hotel Liability for Damages
When a hotel or motel violates its statutory duty of ordinary care and skill, hotel guests, including visiting family members and friends, may recover resulting injury, loss, and damage in what California Civil Jury Instruction 401 calls a negligence action. Negligence, according to that instruction, is:
- "failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. A person can be negligent by acting or by failing to act, or they do something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation, or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation."
Premises liability insurers for hotels and motels don't make a practice of handing out money to any guest who claims injury.
Instead, our personal injury lawyers will gather the evidence and make the analysis to present your negligence claim in compelling form, showing that you have the reliable theory and skilled representation to prove your claim.
Depending on your circumstances at the time of your injury, your damages could include:
- pain, suffering, physical disability, and lost enjoyment of life;
- fear, fright, shock, mental and emotional distress, and mental disability;
- temporary or permanent loss of function, and scarring and disfigurement;
- medical expense, wage loss, lost benefits, and other economic losses.
Personal Injury Lawyers for California Hotel Injury Claims
Our preeminent personal injury attorneys know how to investigate and prove hotel injury claims when hotel liability insurers raise defenses.
As the above statute makes clear, and California Civil Jury Instruction 405 reinforces, the injured person making the claim owes a duty of ordinary care for the injured person's own safety.
Whether the injury was due to a criminal attack by another, a slip and fall or trip and fall, or another form of hotel negligence, liability insurers will argue that the injured guest was solely at fault for their injury.
Skilled representation can overcome that comparative negligence defense and other hotel defenses.
Hotel liability insurers know the reputation of the lawyers at the Injury Justice Law Firm as skilled and aggressive counsel who get their clients the full value of their personal injury claims.
It should be noted that not all accidents qualify for a premise liability case. We must be able to prove the hotel was negligent in some manner in order to file a lawsuit.
Our top-rated personal injury law firm has a track record of success proving negligence in injury lawsuits. You pay no fee unless you recover compensation.
Call our office for a free case evaluation at (818) 781-1570, or contact our law firm online.